A fundraising checklist: Should you consider “Summer Fundraising”?

I recently asked to some colleagues if they were running specific fundraising campaigns during the summer. Most of them answered they are not! Business as usual seems to be the moto. Worst, some programs are put on hold during the holidays. How can they be wrong? At the end of July, European cities get emptier than ever since kids are out of school and families are on vacation.

But my own experience of being a fundraiser has always been associated with very busy summer months: the period from June to mid August reminds me only to work hard, fully dedicated to analyse first semester’s result and to close planning for the upcoming semesters. On the operational side, I can remember only two tests run in July and August. But what if there was a real potential for fundraising during this time of the year?


A fundraising checklist: what Italian fundraisers look like?

For sure, you would be able to answer this if you had participated at the 5th Italian “Festival del Fundraising” during the second week of May 2012. Three days, around 600 fundraisers, more than 20 sponsors and a lot of sun. The annual meeting is held at Castrocaro, a little town located next to Bologna, strategically between Roma and Milano.

Many, many, many sessions and activities and no time to rest if you came like many of us to learn by sharing. So even though you are in an historical 4-star hotel and have free access to thermal facilities, there is little chance for you to come back home without a huge need to rest. I am sure that every attendee will also have taken back a huge checklist full of technics to explore or to test: online, offline, integration of channels, new services and many ideas from abroad considering the number of foreign speakers that joined the event.

So let me try to review what are the trends that emerged without being too descriptive…let’s hope the other 599 people will write comments and identify their best moments. So here we go: (more…)

A fundraising check list : how to react to the economic crisis?

Let me propose to you a quick “check-list” hoping it could be useful when it comes to adapt your fundraising program to the economic crisis.

Because…yes..there is a crisis going on! You heard about it…except if you are working on street face-to-face campaigns somewhere in Asia. You are probably experiencing changes in redemption or attrition in the last months or years. If not, you should wonder about what to do if your organization arrive to the point where all indicators turns red.

External factors like credit crunch, increased fiscal pressure on individuals, political instability are much more difficult to face that choosing the right headline for your next DRTV campaign. Right now, Italy is a very good example having a temporary government that face the worst economic downturn since last world war II. As a result, many Italian organizations witnessed a terrible second semester 2011. And I am quite sure that all are monitoring their performance indicators daily…looking for new trends! But these will be hard to identify until next political elections in 2013. (more…)

The real art of Karate Fundraising!

Karate Fundraising? A new discipline is born? Come on! You didn’t hear about it yet?

Ok, don’t worry, this is not (really) a new channel or a way to boosting the income of your fundraising programme. It’s more like a way of seeing things and to ease your fundraiser everyday’s life.

Let me first explain how I came across the concept of “Karate Fundraising”. I was speaking on the phone with my friend Paolo Ferrara, one of the Italian digital gurus. Just trying to set a day to meet, in order to prepare a session for the Italian Fundraising Congress earlier this year. The session was about arguing which techniques, digital or traditional, were more successful in fundraising. (more…)

Staff like donors? Recruit, develop, retain them…

101fundraising…OK, so back to the basics of fundraising, hey?!  Let me think, should I speak about ROI, LTV, DRTV, hum… yeah, why not! But something more “CORE”?

Found it! Let’s talk about PEOPLE.

I can see your face, but don’t worry, I won’t tell you for the 102nd time that “People give to people”. You know all about it yet. So, let’s have a look at us fundraisers, after all, we are people … and perhaps the best assets of a fundraising program (OK … just after donors).

So, my first post is dealing with what I spent more time on since I became a Fundraising Director some years ago: human resources! How to recruit, retain and develop the good fundraisers for your program. Because, let’s face it, you can be a real genius, but you need people for implementing the strategy you’ve designed for  your organization. The good news is that dealing with human resources can be compared with dealing with a direct marketing program: you need to recruit staff, engage them, develop their contribution, and get the best of them as long as you can retain them.